BodyMap is an ambitious virtual reality platform, enabling people to visualise embodied lived experience using 3D painting tools.
Designed for diagnostic and therapeutic intervention for people living with chronic pain and mental health conditions, BodyMap uses participatory art as a tool to explore and reduce emotional and physical distress.
Clinical Virtual Reality
Illustration as Insight
Initially inspired by a clinically verified art therapy method called bodymapping, users are able to develop greater interoceptive awareness (The sense of the internal state of the body, including emotion, hunger, pain and temperature) through externalising the sense of internal bodily phenomenon, such as pain and emotional experience through illustration. Using 3D painting tools draw on to a avatar that scales to the participants size and dimensions, the avatar acts as a canvas and abstract representation of themselves.
Following the completion of the artwork, participants have the opportunity to save their illustrations and accompanying audio description to a personal journal to track the changing nature of their experience. An anonymous online archive is also available, which is made up of a series of galleries. Submitted illustrations are catalogued based on a tagging system, which enables users to explore and reflect on the various creations of others, and gain insight into the diversity and similarities of human experiences and how we represent them.
Digital Pharmaceuticals & Pain Management
Digital pharmaceuticals is currently an emerging field, gaining further evidence of the effectiveness of digital health based interventions. Clinical trials have demonstrated that VR can be used as a pain management tool that reduce pain by up to 24% (Spiegel, B. et al 2017). The experience will implement an additional biosensing system, enabling users to augment their illustrations through changing their own physiological response to the pain through practising mindfulness, and other forms of movement based interaction.
Winner of Most Financially Viable App, Best Mind/Body Connection App & Best Non-Coded Presentation at VR Wellness Hackathon - Google Launchpad |San Francisco | Feb 2018
“Hatsumi has great potential to transform the way in which people relate to their chronic pain. Pairing evidence-based pain management techniques with the capabilities of virtual reality could help people to better understand their pain and apply techniques such as relaxation and mindfulness more effectively. As an ‘invisible’ condition, making chronic pain more visible through physiological data and visual artistry could help practitioners better understand the people they are helping as well as help people with chronic pain to communicate and respond to their pain in new ways. ”
— Dr. Esther Flanagan: Clinical Psychologist and Senior Programme Manager, Nesta Health Lab
“The Hatsumi prototype is already a brilliant, intense experience. I only tried it out to test how it worked yet very quickly, organically, I found myself using the toolkit for precisely its intended therapeutic purpose. A powerful experience. I’m blown away by the vision and integrity built into the platform.”
— Chris T-T: Writer, Musician, Activist
“I tried out Hatsumi to see whether the environment might be useful in describing how chronic pain manifests itself in my body. I was a little clunky with new (to me) tools but can see that they have huge potential for communicating somatic experience. I particularly liked the ability to draw inside and all around the body thus layering up sensations which emulates actual experience. The moving line tools were very useful in describing where and potentially how quickly the pain moved. I look forward to using the platform again and seeing how it evolves.”
— Clare Plumley, Artist and Person with Lived Experience of Chronic Pain
See more of Clare Plumley's Work Here: Encountering Pain